There are thousands of cities in the United States that have a unique flavor all their own, but there is one that takes individuality to a whole new level.

Bienvenido a Miami…

Miami, Florida is a beautiful collage of unique, sustainable, eco-conscious, and historic businesses across every industry and district. Here are five standout small businesses in the City of Magic.

1. Plant the Future

When industrial designer Paloma Teppa and her husband, eco-entrepreneur Yair Marcoschamer, founded this nature-inspired Wynwood Arts District design firm in 2008 their mission was to promote biophilia. Biophilia believes that humans seek to connect with nature and other forms of life – when you see their designs you will believe too.

Offering a wide range of sustainable and well-imagined creations, Plant the Future is proof that when design meets nature life can exist in the most interesting places – living walls for example. Teppa and Marcoschamer have projects all over Miami that will make you rethink the meaning of indoor plants.

After perusing their offering one thing becomes quite clear – Miami will continue to be a place for artists, interior designers, architects, and nature connoisseurs and Plant the Future will continue to create living sculptures guaranteed to entice them all.

2. Antidote

Antidote is a clothing store unlike any other. While some stores boast their commitment to leave the world better than they found it as a way to get more people in the door, Antidote’s solution is to let the designs do the talking. The fact that their curated fashion is conscious is just a pleasant bonus.

So what exactly is it that makes Antidote the cure-all? Their brands of course!

For starters, their fashions are made in the USA. This not only strengthens national employment and local economy but also lets them create responsibly. On top of that, they focus on sustainability, the environment, veganism, fair trade, and cultural heritage by creating humanely while taking natural resources, renewable energy, and the overall longevity of their products seriously.

This is what you get when you buy from Antidote… that and timeless designs you will wear again and again. “J’e t’aime Miami” – Antidote

3. Lulu in the Grove

The area called Coconut Grove (or “The Grove” as the locals call it) has been a magnet for adventurers and creatives since the 1800’s. It has even inspired such greats as Tennessee Williams, Robert Frost and even Alexander Graham Bell.

When great people are drawn together they bring great atmospheres, shops, and restaurants. That is as true today as it was a hundred years ago.

Enter Lulu of Coconut Grove.

This popular restaurant lures Miami foodies south of the city with locally sourced and organic offerings that are as fresh as their surroundings. This commitment truly sets them apart, well that and their fresh baked bread and pastries, homemade smoked salmon, and unique craft cocktails.

Recommendation: Order a Caipirinha (“kai-per-EEN-ya”)

This Brazilian cousin of the mojito is a Miami staple but be warned, the sugary Cachaca used to make it packs a punch.

4. Casa Faena

Newness is all around us. Perhaps this is what makes Casa Faena a gem in Miami’s Faena district. Built in 1928, this unique hotel began as the El Paraiso Apartments – eighteen units and two hotel rooms designed by architect Martin L. Hampton. Hampton designed other well-known Miami staples including City Hall.

Today’s building may have modern updates but it still echoes Miami’s Spanish roots architecturally and Hamptons Mediterranean Revival style while staying true to their current philosophy: “Casa Faena has set out to create the most ideal setting to discover the heart of one of America’s greatest destinations – Miami Beach.”

5. Sweat Records

Chances are when you talk to the locals about Miami staples, Sweat Records will have an honorable mention. It all began in 2005 when two friends (Lauren “Lolo” Reskin and Sara Yousuf) wanted to start something more than a record store. They wanted a place for people to shop that was dedicated to all that makes Miami distinctively unique. They succeeded but it wasn’t always easy.

After a temporary relocating, thanks to Hurricane Wilma, Jason Jimenez replaced Sara and began to make Sweat what it is today – music store, coffee shop, event space, and local community advocate (multiple times per month Sweat plays host to in-store events, live music, community groups, and movie nights).

So when they aren’t selling used LPs, turntables, headphones, record accessories, and a curated selection of magazines, books, gifts, and local music, Sweat is working to support “the local cultural community [while] being the world-class indie record store the city deserves.” That is music to our ears.

Running a small business is not easy. Each day we are inspired by the business owners we interact with who put their trust in Rubicon to manage their waste collection, recycling projects, and sustainability opportunities. We want to give back and help some of those small businesses continue to flourish. We are out to salute those small businesses that continue to help America thrive.

Editor’s Note: Rubicon is not affiliated with the companies referenced in the blog post, and any references to companies in the post are not meant to convey an endorsement of Rubicon by those companies in any way.